“It’s a different style of play. It was good…they were a little bit more laid back in some ways and a little more intense in other ways. It was a learning curve for all of us. We got our legs under us there later on and it worked out for us.” – Jordy Bellerive, WHL
Also on the WHL’s roster, is Vancouver Giants blue-liner, Bowen Byram. He’s undrafted but projected to be the top-ranked defenseman heading into the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
This tournament is what many consider to be a tryout and preview of sorts for the coming World Junior Championships in December. Woo, Bellerive, and Byram are three of the many hopefuls for Canada’s roster in the prestigious tournament.
WHL’s coach, Tim Hunter, who is also coaching team Canada at the aforementioned WJC says it’s a bit of a cat-and-mouse game between himself and Russia’s coaching staff.
“We’ll make some changes, they’ll make some changes. I’m pretty familiar with the coaches – this is the third time in this event coaching against them and this’ll be the third world juniors coaching against them.” – Tim Hunter, WHL coach
Tonight is the final game the Russians will be playing the WHL. Following the game, they are heading out east to play the OHL on Thursday in the first of their two-game series. Game one is in Sarnia and the second contest is set to take place in Oshawa.
Vancouver Canucks prospect, Michael DiPietro will be in net for team OHL. He is the reigning OHL goalie of the year and he’s hoping to help his squad to a sweep over the Russians who split the series last year.